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Top ecotourism destinations: Bonito, Brazil



Bonito, in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, is one of the top ecotourism destinations suggested by ahead of the 11th World Responsible Tourism Awards.

Bonito is a municipality in the Mato Grosso do Sul state in central-west Brazil and has been often referred to as the ‘Caribbean of the Central-West’ because of its crystal clear waters and wild forests.

It won last year’s awards for the Best Destination category, thanks to its approach to tourism focused on environmental responsibility, being defined by travel guide Lonely Planet as the ‘ecotourism model for Brazil’.

Tourists can enjoy a wide range of spectacular beauties in the area, including waterfalls, crystal lakes, caves with stalactite formations and the surroundings of the Serra da Bodoquena national park, much of which is not open to tourism for conservation reasons.

With more than 30 tours available for all pocket sizes, Bonito offers some amazing gems to responsible travellers, such as the Abismo Anhumas, an underground cave where people can observe fish swimming in wide clear waters, the Circuito Arvorismo, consisting of a system on treetops on a suspended steel walkway in the forest and the Gruta do Lago Azul, a stunning blue flooded cave.

The clarity of the water where travellers can practice snorkeling or scuba diving is due to the large quantity of limestone in the ground, which works as a natural filter leaving impurity on the bottom of lakes and rivers and making these some of the more transparent and clear in the world.

The World Responsible Tourism Awards celebrates the ‘heroes’ of responsible tourism; it is organised by and is sponsored by the Oman Ministry of Tourism.

Photo: Patty Ho via flickr

Further reading:

Sustainable wildlife tourism is a positive force for conservation and economies, says expert

Travel Foundation: sustainable tourism will soon be ‘the only way to do business’

Ecotourism flourishes when local people are engaged with sustainability

Sustainable tourism is an instrument to ‘protect nature and alleviate poverty’

The Guide to Sustainable Tourism 2014


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